Parking Services, Here and There
Justin Sullivan

Students and faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are likely all too familiar with the orange envelopes placed underneath the windshield wipers of their car.

The orange envelopes contain citations for violations, such as parking at an expired meter or parking without a permit in a designated permit area.

Parking citations vary in cost according to the type of offense. Parking at an expired meter on campus is $6, while a citation for an incorrect or missing permit is $20.

The revenue garnered from citations and coin meters goes to maintaining and improving the lots on campus. This includes funding projects, such as the new parking structure planned for development in Lot X.

The revenue also goes to paying the wages of parking services employees, which has three full-time employees, some part-time employees and between 10 and 15 student employees.

Parking services, whose mission statement includes providing permit and convenience parking to students, faculty, staff and guests, requires some of the lowest permit fees in the University of Wisconsin system and charges some of the lowest citation prices.

For example, an expired meter citation at the University of Wisconsin- Madison costs $30, five times the rate of UWSP. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s citation price is $11.

The difference in price for parking permits is even greater. It is $790 for the majority of UW-Madison lot permits. UW-Oshkosh charges $70 per semester for a parking lot off campus. UWSP charges just over $93 for a yearly permit.

“Sometimes you pay more than that in a month [at other schools],” said Bill Rowe, director of Protective and Parking Services, who has been with UWSP since 2003.

Jade Likely, a senior journalism major attending UW-Madison, said that the parking situation on the campus is less than ideal.

“I’ve had a car for three years here. My first year, I was six blocks away from my apartment. The lot was never plowed, and it was still $85 a month,” Likely said. “Garage parking is expensive, and meter parking and street parking is even more expensive. Long story short, I hate parking in Madison.”

At least one student feels the current parking situation on the UWSP campus could also be improved.

Kaitlin Schuman, a web and digital media design senior, said she struggles to find parking spots on campus that she does not have to pay for because she has to stay extended periods of time on campus. She also said that at certain times of the day, even metered spots are a struggle to find.

“Paying four dollars a day or even more for metered parking breaks the bank,” Schuman said. “At the end of the day, I may complain a lot about it, but I do realize it could be worse. It’s frustrating and all, but I guess I could be paying a heck of a lot more out of pocket than I am currently. A lot of my frustration comes from the fact that I work on campus, and there’s no compensation for parking offered for student employees.”